Brown & Black Belt Course - Southern

Saturday 24th February 2007

Wincanton, Somerset

On Saturday 24th February 2007, around 45 senior members of the 'Traditional Shotokan Karate Association' travelled to Wincanton Sports Centre in Somerset to attend a Black and Brown belt course with the TSKA chairman and chief instructor, Sensei Peter Manning 6th Dan. The course was attended by Sensei Manning's own senior Instructors and students, and other TSKA clubs from Frome, Wells and Oxford.

The course is a regular event within the association, and was kept to a basic format, the main aim being to teach and maintain the highest technical standards possible. We began, as usual, with an introduction to what the course is aimed at and what the training will consist of. After a gentle warm up exercise, we practised various kicking, punching and striking combinations, such as moving forwards with Mae-Geri, Kizami-Zuki, Gyaku-Zuki, then switching to the opposite leg before executing Ushiro-ashi Mae-Geri, placing the kicking leg back down behind and landing Uraken-Uchi, Gyaku-Zuki, then moving forwards with Sanbon-Zuki. The techniques were practised slowly at first, with emphasis on correct stance, footwork, body control, posture, breathing, hip rotation and composition. Once the techniques had been performed numerous times, and were to Sensei Manning's satisfactory standard, we then progressed to performing the same combination of movements at full speed and power several times back and forth across the dojo.

We then moved on to the next combination, starting in Zenkutsu-Dachi, kicking off the rear leg Mawashi-Geri, Uraken-Uchi, Gyaku-Zuki, stepping back and using the same leg again to execute Yoko-Geri-Kekomi, Uraken-Uchi, Gyaku-Zuki. This combination was again performed numerous times slowly before progressing to full speed. Sensei Manning then demonstrated and explained how these first two combinations should be broken down to be taught, and how they should be correctly performed, stressing the importance of composition and relaxation between each individual technique in order to deliver a fast and powerful strike, achieving the desired effect. We then practised a kicking combination, consisting of Ura-Mawashi-Geri, Ushiro-Geri and Mae-Tobi-Geri. These techniques were performed once again moving several times back and forth across the dojo, at slow and then full speed, with the main emphasis being on body and hip positioning, control and correct direction of the kicking leg. The Ura-Mawashi-Geri was then practised with a partner with emphasis on these same points.

After a short break we moved on to the final part of the course, consisting of advanced Katas, Nijushiho and Bassai-Dai. Both katas were performed slowly by Sensei Manning, and then with correct speed and timing. The katas were practised to Sensei's count and each movement was dissected and explained to ensure they were correctly performed and taught. Basic and practical bunkai to selected parts of the kata was then taught and practised

The course was very successful and enjoyed by all who attended, although it would be nice to see a few more instructors and senior grades in attendance next time as they are, after all, held for our benefit!...and as usual, it's always nice to go to the pub afterwards!! Thanks to Sensei Manning for an enjoyable and informative course!